Thursday, March 18, 2010

Seeking Naked Boys

...but not for any prurient reasons, rest assured!

My buddy Jeffrey Johnson, artistic director of Ganymede Arts in DC, is putting the word on the Rialto that he needs some naked boys who sing, for a show entitled, appropriately, Naked Boys Singing.

This is a musical revue which has been around for quite some time, from humble beginnings in West Hollywood to a long-running production Off-Broadway, to a filmed version currently available on DVD. There was even a locally produced version, oh, at least a decade or so ago. How I've missed this thing, I don't know.

Ganymede Arts is the local group dedicated to the Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual/Transgendered experience (someone once noticed that by the time you've finally included all those orientations, the parade has already passed). When Jeff took the helm of the group, they were called Actors Theatre of Washington, and had been producing off and on for quite a long while. Jeff has expanded the group's mission in recent years, to include all the visual and performing arts. Ganymede sponsors an annual GLBT Arts Festival each autumn, which usually includes staged readings of plays, stand-up comedy nights, dance, music, and guest stars such as Julie Halston and Karen Black. There is usually a bit of drag, too.

Ok, I dislike drag intensely, or rather, dislike the art of the lip-sinc (if indeed that is an art, which I refute), so I usually can't stand drag performances. But I have seen Ganymede's biggest star, Special Agent Galactica (don't ask me the significance of the name, maybe she's a spy from another planet), and have been very entertained. I lay that compliment squarely at the feet of Jeff Johnson, who portrays the pink-haired pseudo-chanteuse; there is something more complete about his performances, probably because he is an actor rather than a drag queen. (That's a term I hate, too. Let's call Jeff a gender illusionist, a term he earned by portraying Little Edie Beale in a home-grown play which has an ongoing life in New York...I wrote about seeing that show here).

I seem to have wandered off topic a bit. Ganymede Arts will be returning to full theatrical producing this spring with a new production of Naked Boys Singing! (note the exclamation point, like Hello, Dolly! or George M! or Hallelujah Hollywood! Musicals are always more exciting with exclamation points, don't you think?). And don't you love a show where there is absolutely no doubt what you are in for? Jeffrey is currently casting non-union exhibitionists who can sell a song in their birthday suit, go here for more audition info.

I will probably try to work one of the performances into my schedule...